Allied health inpatient service provision in Australian and New Zealand hospitals

Miss Megan Jepson1, Mr  Mitchell  Sarkies1, Professor  Terry  Haines1

1Monash University , Frankston , Australia


To describe current allied health service provision across acute general medical and surgical, and subacute rehabilitation hospital wards in Australia and New Zealand.

This cross-sectional observation study was nested within a multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial, in which one-month of allied health service event data for acute and subacute wards was collected. Data included the number of service events, day of week, duration, profession, ward type, and number of beds for each ward. Allied health professions included: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, dietetics, speech pathology, podiatry, orthotics and prosthetics, as well as allied health assistants.

Data was collected from a total 74 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand. A total of n=247,747 (132,350 hours) allied health service events were recorded over a one month period for acute general medical and surgical, and subacute rehabilitation wards across the 74 hospital sites. The majority of allied health service was provided on weekdays, with a mean of 5,651 (SD: 12,717) events totalling 3,153 (SD: 7,129) hours; while approximately 10% of all allied health service events occurred on the weekend, with a mean of 904 (SD: 1,894) allied health service events over 466 (SD: 1,038) hours.

These findings form a baseline of current hospital based allied health workforce makeup; providing clinicians and management teams a like with more information on how their staff allocation and service provision compares to that of other hospitals across Australia and New Zealand.


Megan Jepson 

Research Assistant- Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Monash University. Exercise Physiologist- Physioworks Health Group.

Exercise and Sports Science accredited member.


  1. Palmer, K., Lane, R., Paton, M., Jepson, M., Bowles, K-A., 2018.Chronic Heart Failure and Exercise: A Systematic Review and meta-analysis


Mitchell Sarkies (BAppSC, Phty)

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University.

Awards & Recognition

2016       Monash Health: Allied Health Research Unit Publication Award 2015

2012       Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health: Allied health clinical placement scholarship

2012       Golden Key International Honours Society: Membership

2008       University of Western Sydney: Deans merit list.


2016       Sarkies, M.N., et al. Do daily ward interviews improve measurement of hospital quality and safety indicators? A prospective observational study, Journal of Evaluation in Practice, 2016 Jun 13: doi:10.1111/jep.12543

2015       Sarkies, M.N., et al. Data Collection Methods in Health Services Research: Hospital Length of Stay and Discharge Destination, Appl Clin Inf, 2015 Feb 18;6(1):96-109

2015       Haines, T.P., et al. Study protocol for two randomized controlled trials examining the effectiveness and safety of current weekend allied health services and a new stakeholder-driven model for acute medical/surgical patients versus no weekend allied health services, Trials, 2015 Apr 2;16(1):133

2015       Haas, R., et al. Early commencement of physical therapy in the acute phase following elective lower limb arthroplasty produces favorable outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis examining allied health service models, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 24 (10), 1667-1681

2016       Robinson, LS., et al. Direct, indirect and intangible costs of acute hand and wrist injuries: A systematic review, Injury 47 (12), 2614-2626